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What's My Line?

Season 1 Episode 13


Aired Daily 12:00 AM Aug 02, 1950 on CBS
out of 10
User Rating
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Episode Summary



Game 1: Ron Brownell - "Bank President" (salaried; from Mount Kisco, NY)

Game 2: Bob Montana - "Elephant Keeper At Zoo" (salaried; from Yonkers, NY)

Game 3: William O'Dwyer (7/11/1890 - 11/24/1964) (as Mystery Guest)

Game 4: Kurt Prinz - "Good Humor Ice Cream Vendor" (salaried; from Long Island, NY)


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    John Daly

    John Daly

    Moderator (1950-1967)

    Arlene Francis

    Arlene Francis

    Regular Panelist (1950-1967)

    Dorothy Kilgallen

    Dorothy Kilgallen

    Regular Panelist (1950-1965)

    Hal Block

    Hal Block

    Regular Panelist (1950-1953)

    Louis Untermeyer

    Louis Untermeyer

    Regular Panelist (1950-1951)

    Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


    • TRIVIA (0)

    • QUOTES (0)

    • NOTES (5)

      • TRADE WINDS COLUMN: In Bennett Cerf's "Trade Winds" column in the April 7, 1951 issue of the Saturday Review magazine, Bennett writes about tonight's "WML?" mystery guest, William O'Dwyer, who appeared before the Kefauver Senate Committee investigating organized crime. Bennett wrote:

        Ex-Mayor O'Dwyer, after two grueling days on the witness stand, enjoyed one good laugh, at least, when New Yorker editor Harold Ross got him on the phone and exclaimed, "I hear you've been in town the past couple of days. What the hell have you been doing?"

        - cerfnet (2008)

      • MYSTERY GUEST: At the time of William O'Dwyer's appearance tonight, he was still Mayor of the City of New York. However, it was on the last day of this month -- August 31, 1950 -- that he resigned, in the wake of the corruption scandals that plagued his administration, followed in short order by his appointment as U.S. Ambassador to Mexico by President Truman. It was under Mr. O'Dwyer's run as Mayor that the United Nations' permanent headquarters were set up in Manhattan, the subway fare went from five to ten cents, and the Department of Traffic (now the Department of Transportation) was first established. Nor was Mr. O'Dwyer the only one in his family to make a name in politics; his brother, Paul O'Dwyer, also had a long career on the New York political scene, including serving as City Council President from 1974 to 1977. - W-B (2008)

      • Unbeknownst to Gil Fates, a kinescope of this episode exists at The Museum of Television & Radio in New York City. Read the review from "stopette" below. - Suzanne

        REVIEW: Over the weekend, I had the privilege of seeing an episode of WML? that supposedly doesn't exist, as Gil Fates assumed. It is in a private N.Y. museum collection. It was an early one, in fact, EPISODE #13 of August 2, 1950. It wasn't an especially memorable one. The often-bewildered Dr. Untermeyer guessed two of the contestants. Daly wishes an unusually subdued Hal Block a happy birthday. A contestant is "Bob Montana" but it's not the "Archie" creating cartoonist, but an elephant keeper at the zoo.

        I guess the walk around in front of the panel was so new, they were giddy about it. Contestants are asked silly things to do like "empty your right trouser pocket." The fellow showed 40 cents and a roll of "Tums." Another is asked to put his arms out straight at his sides like a giant letter "T", to what purpose, I have no idea. Another was asked by Dorothy to face the audience and pretend to be an orchestra leader doing the first few notes of Beethoven's fifth symphony! Dr. Untermeyer asks her, "How does that go?" Dorothy obliges with, "Da da da dummmm, da da da dummm..." as the poor fool imitates Toscanini.

        The mystery guest was current ambassador to Mexico and ex-crooked Mayor of New York, Bill O'Dwyer. While blindfolded, once they discern he's in politics, Arlene asks if he's a Democrat. He says, "yes," and Arlene replies, "Oh, I'm so glad!" I guess she was one too. Identity revealed, O'Dwyer tells of the progress of TV since 1946, and his ambition to make New York stay the capitol of American television.

        They still have no theme or background music. Not one note is heard from start to finish. Even the commercial is cold. The filmed ad, for their only sponsor Stopette, features a rather unfriendly hard-selling pitch girl behind a display case, with a velvety stage curtain behind her. She spiels, "What's MY line? I'm a salesgirl at a department store. I know the value of a good deodorant. I can tell which ones work and which don't. Stopette smells better and lasts longer..." etc. All in rat-a-tat-tat, non-smiling delivery. It ends with a crude stop-still animation of the Stopette bottles getting into their store display box.

        We come back to the show, where John tells how you can become a contestant, and where to send in a photo of yourself to enter. The closing credits are always cut short on GSN. They actually go along as dub over voice (Sandy Becker?) tells us that next week we'll see "Toni Twin Time" in this spot. (In WML?'s earliest days it was an alternate week program, first with "The Show Goes On" starring Robert Q. Lewis, then with "Toni Twin Time," an anthology.) The final credit, (which are boards being removed one by one from an easel) shows the letters "CBS" in 3-D effect with a spotlight on them from the high right-hand corner.

        from "stopette" - Nov 16, 2004

      • Tonight's short film, seen prior to the opening scrolling credits, features an Indian guide. He asks, "What's My Line?" - stopette (2004)

      • Per Gil Fates' handwritten logs, no kinescope of this episode exists. It was destroyed by CBS before Gil Fates noticed the destruction policy in 1952 and began saving the kinescopes. Only about 10 episodes exist from February 1950 to July 1952. - Suzanne (2003)

        William O'Dwyer: Mayor of New York City, NY (from 1946 to 1950) and U.S. Ambassador to Mexico (from 1950 to 1952). - Suzanne (2003)

        Panel: Dorothy Kilgallen, Louis Untermeyer, Arlene Francis, Hal Block.

    • ALLUSIONS (0)